Many is the time I've waxed rhapsodic on the work of John Waters. I am well aware that, at this point, I sound like a broken record. To read my blog, you'd think he was the be all and end all of trash; that no other directors even attempted what he was doing. But, of course, we all know that ain't true. Yes, Waters is the king of filth, but that don't mean there ain't been other contenders for the throne.
Case in point: Paul Bartel. It would seem that my heretofore hesitation to spill ink on Bartel is an indirect knock on the man's cred, but please know that's not the case. It was Bartel's unfortunate circumstances that led to my apparent snubbing. You see, the man had the chops to rival Waters; his wings were just clipped. He more than proved with his first feature, the creepy horror picture Private Parts, that he wasn't one to shy away from darker themes.
But when his second feature, the hilarious Corman-produced dark comedy Death Race 2000, became a hit, Bartel could only find work on car pictures. Thus, his next Corman produced outing: the car chase picture Cannonball!. Yes this movie was tinted with Bartel's dark wit, but it was clearly the work of a man who'd been neutered. He made the best with what he had. And so Bartel decided to not accept any more car picture work from Corman. He wouldn't direct again for over half a decade.
Bartel waited until he could make another picture on his own terms, unconstrained by Corman's commercial necessities. His next picture, Eating Raoul—a pitch-black comedy about swinging, murder, Nazi fetishism, and cannibalism, all that good shit—proved that Bartel's seventies work could have rivaled Waters' output had he only been afforded the opportunity.
And this trailer gives but a taste.